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Master of Physician Assistant Studies — Accelerated

Location: Worcester, Manchester
Start Term: Spring 2024
Application Deadline: January 15, 2023

As a PA, you deliver empathetic care alongside other members of the healthcare team, acting as an influential force in patient advocacy and treatment.

In the Master of Physician Assistant Studies—Accelerated program, you'll have the opportunity to jumpstart your medical career. This year-round program builds on your undergraduate degree, integrating didactic classroom studies with real-world experiences in institutions throughout the North East and Mid-Atlantic regions—all in the fast-tracked time frame of 24 months.

You will complete supervised clinical rotations in a wide variety of settings, gaining experience in internal medicine and specialties such as surgery, women's health, psychiatry, pediatrics, and emergency medicine. You will build relationships with faculty and fellow students as you participate in hands-on learning experiences and interprofessional education initiatives.

And when you graduate, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as a highly valued member of the healthcare team.

For admission to the program, an applicant must have:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum overall CASPA verified GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum overall CASPA science verified GPA of 3.2 (recommended)
  • 250-500 hours of patient care experience (strongly recommended)
  • PA shadowing experience (recommended)
  • Three letters of recommendation must be requested through CASPA, two are required for verification
  • Successful completion of faculty interview (by invitation only)

Additionally, the following prerequisite courses must be completed: 

Linked courses are available through the MCPHS School of Professional Studies. 

Prerequisite courses (as indicated above) must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS will not be accepted.

Students with international coursework must submit a course-by-course evaluation from the World Education Service (WES). Please note that a WES evaluation is not required for applicants for coursework from English-Speaking Canadian universities and colleges.

Articulation Agreements

The Accelerated Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program has articulation agreements with eleven colleges and universities. These articulation agreements contain certain provisions that provide an advantage for an interview and admission to the Program of up to a specified number of qualified applicants from the eleven colleges and universities set forth below. These articulation agreements provide that admission to the PA Program is granted on a space-available basis and only if the applicant meets the articulation agreement institution applicant criteria described below. If the number of applicants from an articulation agreement school exceeds the number of positions designated in the applicable agreement, the PA Admission Committee will rank-order the most qualified applicants based on consideration of a full set of their application materials and the evaluation from the admissions interview. Any additional applicants from that specific articulation agreement school will enter the PA Program's regular applicant pool.

Articulation agreement institution applicant criteria for admission to the PA program:

  • Satisfies all requirements for a baccalaureate degree with an overall grade point average of 3.4 and all PA Program prerequisite coursework at his/her respective college or university
  • Has an overall grade point average of no less than 3.4 on a 4.0 scale in the specified prerequisite coursework, has no grades less than C, and has no repeated courses
  • Has submitted a verified application to the Program through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) by October 1st in the year preceding anticipated matriculation
  • Submits an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score if English is the applicant's second language
  • Completes a pre-admission interview with a score of acceptable or above
  • Institution Manchester Campus Worcester Campus
    Assumption College 1 1
    Clark University 0 1
    College of the Holy Cross 0 2
    New England College 2 0
    Saint Anselm College Total of 2 students between both campuses
    Salem State University 0 2
    Stonehill College 0 2
    University of Maine 2 1
    University of New Hampshire (Manchester) 3 0
    Worcester State University 0 2
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute 0 2

    Student Work Policy

    In order to enhance student learning and assure student success in the Physician Assistant program, it is recommended that students minimize the hours worked outside of the program. When students work while in the program, work schedules must not interfere with class performance or clinical rotation schedules.

Year I - Spring 


MPA 527

Healthcare Issues I


MPA 530

Clinical Medicine I


MPA 538

Patient Assessment I


MPA 541

Pharmacology I


MPA 544

Clinical Anatomy


MPA 546

Physiology/Pathophysiology I




Year I - Summer


MPA 528

Healthcare Issues II


MPA 531

Clinical Medicine II


MPA 539

Patient Assessment II


MPA 542

Pharmacology II


MPA 547

Physiology/Pathophysiology II





Year I - Fall


MPA 532

Clinical Medicine III


MPA 543

Pharmacology III


MPA 550

Emergency Medicine


MPA 552

Medical Procedures & Surgery


MPA 554

Special Populations


MPA 540

Patient Assessment III




Please note: Students must obtain their Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification during Year I of the MPAS program, before the start of their clinical rotations (Year II).*

Year II - Spring



Clinical Rotations (3 rotations)


MPA 620 

Professional Development 1




Year II - Summer



Clinical Rotations (3 rotations)


MPA 621

Professional Development II




Year II - Fall



Clinical Rotations (3 rotations)


MPA 622

Professional Development III




Total credits to complete degree requirements: 105 s.h.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (Accelerated MPAS) Program Completion Policy:
Candidates for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (Accelerated MPAS) Program Manchester/Worcester must have completed all program requirements (didactic and clinical) within 39 months from the date of matriculation into the accelerated MPAS program. Failure to complete all program requirements within the allotted timeframe is subject to dismissal from the program.

*Students are required to obtain ACLS certification in order to progress as a clinical year student. The following criteria is required of the ACLS training site in order to be program approved:

-Sponsored by: American Heart Association (AHA) authorized training center
-Course type: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for the Healthcare Provider
-Testing modality: Writing examination and in-person skills examination
-Deadline to obtain certification: By September 1st of didactic year enrollment

Clinical rotations are integral to the Physician Assistant Studies program at MCPHS University–Manchester and Worcester. It is during this phase of training that students apply and improve their clinical and patient management skills. There are 9 required clinical rotations. Each rotation is 5 weeks in duration. In addition to clinical rotations, students participate in on-campus professional seminars during the clinical phase of training.

The program has clinical affiliations with a variety of clinical sites in the North East and Mid-Atlantic regions. Additional national and international clinical sites are also available. Learning experiences occur in ambulatory and hospital-based settings and include rural, suburban and urban clinical sites. Students are encouraged to choose rural health facilities for a portion of their clinical experience. The breadth of clinical settings offers the future Physician Assistant the ability to acquire skills and competencies practices in a variety of settings.

Rotations in the required curriculum may be scheduled at some distance from the campus. This is necessary to provide a range of diverse learning experiences and ensure availability and quality of clinical rotation sites. Students are responsible for providing their own housing and transportation to and from the clinical sites and campus. Housing and travel costs for the clinical year vary widely depending on the site and location. Physician Assistant students are not responsible for identifying or arranging their own clinical sites. However the possibility exists for students to coordinate, with the program, a maximum of two out-of-network clinical sites. To ensure quality educational training the sites must be approved by the Physician Assistant Studies Program and University and proper protocol must be followed to arrange for out- of-network clinical rotations.

The School of Physician Assistant Studies reserves the right to make changes to all policies and procedures at any time.

Clinical Rotations

MPAC 600 Medicine I 5
MPAC 601 Medicine Elective 5
MPAC 602 Family Medicine 5
MPAC 603 Pediatrics 5
MPAC 604 Psychiatry 5
MPAC 605 Surgery 5
MPAC 606 Women's Health 5
MPAC 607 Emergency Medicine 5
MPAC 609 General Elective Rotation 5

Download the curricular components, deadlines and requirements for the class of 2023.

The Accelerated MPAS Program uses ExamSoft (electronic testing software) in all Year 1 courses and Examdriver (electronic testing platform) in all Year II courses. All student are required to bring a laptop ONLY that meets the minimum specifications below in order to sit for your exams. Tablets, iPads, or Chromebooks CANNOT be used to take exams in the program. Each student will be required to purchase a Privacy Screen or Privacy Filter that fits on their laptop.

PC Requirements
Mac Requirements
iPad Requirements

Technical Standards for Admission, Promotion, and Graduation

A candidate for the MCPHS University–Manchester/Worcester Physician Assistant Studies program must have, at a minimum, skills in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavior/social. Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner.

The following skills are required with or without accommodation:


Candidates must have sufficient capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, the outpatient setting, and the patient's bedside. Sensory skills to perform a physical examination are required. Functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation are required to properly observe a patient's condition and to perform procedures regularly required during a physical examination such as inspection, auscultation, and palpation.


Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and healthcare settings. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills. Candidates must be able to communicate with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates must be capable of completing, in a thorough and timely manner, appropriate medical records and documents and plans according to protocol.


The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures (e.g., palpation, auscultation) is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to properly care for all patients. Candidates must be able to move freely about patient care environments and must be able to move between settings such as clinics, classroom buildings, and hospitals. In addition, physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences.


Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. Problem solving, one of the critical skills demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. Candidates must be able to read and understand medical literature. In order to complete the Physician Assistant Studies program, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in medical problem-solving and patient care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the healthcare team is essential. The ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for others are all required. Candidates must be able to function effectively under stress and have the ability to accept constructive criticism and handle difficult interpersonal relationships during training.

Program Vision

Our students, alumni and faculty will be leaders through their commitment to providing high quality healthcare to all patients through innovative clinical education that promotes clinical competence, professionalism, community involvement, leadership and life-long learning.

Program Mission

The program educates and inspires the future generation of Physician Assistants to become compassionate clinicians who demonstrate professionalism; practice collaborative, evidence-based medicine and advocate for patients and their communities.

Program Graduate Competencies

The program has adopted the ARC-PA accreditation agency core competency domains as its own and expects all students to exhibit development of the following program competencies required for entry level PA practice:

Patient-Centered Practice Knowledge - possess the fundamental knowledge to apply care to patients based on individual needs through use of evidence-based decision-making and lifelong learning.

Interpersonal & Communication Skills - possess the skills to determine patients' capacity for understanding information about their health, how to best communicate with patients to ensure clarity of content, to establish a rapport and communicate in meaningful ways, to recognize and overcome linguistic and cultural barriers to effective communication and understand different perspectives and expectation about healthcare and health disparities.

Clinical & Technical Skills - possess the skills to recognize healthy and diagnose ill patients and apply skills in acute, chronic, emergent, and preventive patient encounters across the lifespan, understanding all patient contact as therapeutic to the well-being of patients.

Professional Behavior - possess the behavior to interact with patients, families, and collaborate with interprofessional health care teams to deliver care through self-reflection, self-awareness, resiliency, teamwork, beneficence, humility, accountability, advocacy, patient-centered, self-directed learning and effective communication.

Clinical Reasoning & Problem-Solving Abilities - synthesize information such as general knowledge, basic sciences, medical advances, and the characteristics of a patient case to reason and act decisively in professional practice situations.

Program Goals

  • Prepare entry-level physician assistants who have a broad base of fundamental knowledge and technical skills to be competent, general, advanced care practitioners.
  • Prepare entry-level physician assistants who communicate effectively and work collaboratively with all members of the interprofessional healthcare team including patients and their caregivers while promoting patient-centered care.
  • Prepare entry-level physician assistants who educate patients on health, disease and prevention.
  • Prepare entry-level physician assistants who demonstrate professionalism in their interactions with patients, families and all members of the healthcare team.
  • Promote and support student leadership opportunities and community outreach.
  • Graduate marketable, entry-level Physician Assistants

Program Level Student Learning Target Outcomes

At the completion of the Program, the Physician Assistant student will have acquired the ability to:

  • Evaluate, obtain a history, conduct a physical examination, identify the diagnosis and design a management plan for patients as a general practitioner in an entry-level position
  • Model effective communication, team-based and patient-centered care
  • Generate health education tools for discussion to support health maintenance education
  • Demonstrate ethical and respectful practice of medicine
  • Seek and fulfill leadership roles in professional practice and community outreach efforts
  • Employed as a practicing PA and provide care to a diverse patient population

Download the overview of program goal success rates.

Download the PANCE pass rates for the five most recent graduating classes.

Download the PANCE performance summary report for the five most recent graduating classes.

ARC-PA Student Attrition

Class Year of Graduation

Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)

Entering class size


Attrition rate*

Graduation rate**

Class of 2018






Class of 2019






Class of 2020






Class of 2021






*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.

**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Please note that delayed graduates are not accounted for in the graduate number or graduation rate.

Please note that the didactic year is year 1 of the program and the clinical year is year 2 of the program.

Untitled Document

Class of 2018:

  • 2 withdrawals during the didactic year
  • 3 decelerations during the didactic year
  • 3 decelerations during the clinical year resulted in a delay in graduation, May 2019
  • 3 LOA (leave of absence) during the didactic year

Class of 2019:

  • 2 dismissals during the didactic year
  • 2 LOA during the didactic year

*Entering class size was comprised of 125 students, plus one student who returned to year 1 of the program from a LOA in summer of 2018. A student dismissal occurred in year 1 of the program in spring of 2018. Therefore, the entering class size never exceeded 125 students at any one given time.

Class of 2020:

  • 1 withdrawal during the didactic year
  • 4 decelerations during the clinical year resulted in a delay in graduation, May 2021
  • 4 LOA didactic year
  • 2 LOA clinical year resulted in a delay in graduation, May 2021
  • 3 Dismissals didactic year
  • 1 Dismissal clinical year

Class of 2021:

  • 5 withdrawals during the didactic year
  • 1 deceleration during the didactic year
  • 2 decelerations during the clinical year resulted in a delay graduation, May 2022
  • 3 LOA didactic year
  • 5 LOA clinical year resulted in delay in graduation, May 2022
  • 1 dismissal clinical year

*Entering class size was comprised of 125 students in year 1, plus one student on a LOA who returned in year 2 of the program with a new graduation year of 2021. For the class of 2021, the returned student makes the class size of 126 students at the start of year 2 but an entering class size of 125 at the start of year 1.  

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the MCPHS University-Manchester/Worcester Physician Assistant Program sponsored by MCPHS University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.


Accelerated PA Program


Complete your Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 24 months at our Worcester or Manchester campuses.

Watch the video

Alumni Spotlight: Tina Hurley, MPAS

Tina Hurley doing a handstand.

Throughout her life, despite facing many hardships, Tina never gave up on making her dream of becoming a physician assistant (PA) a reality.